Group Therapy for Parents

Join us twice monthly for a deeply supportive experience shared by parents of troubled teens and stuck young adults.

Parents know all too well the pain and suffering associated with having a child struggling with mental health, substance abuse or addiction problems. This twice-monthly, 90-minute group, now in its 12th year, offers parents the opportunity to:

  • Find commonality and support from parent peers
  • Build a network of supportive allies
  • Develop a toolkit to improve communication and coping
  • Gain skills to deepen connections with all family members
  • Reduce distress and chaos in the family system
  • Create a safe and serene home environment
  • Set boundaries and limits in a loving, clear fashion with parent peer support to do so

Dr. Perlmutter facilitates this powerful, long-term group for up to ten families. Husbands and wives, single parents, divorced parents, step-parents and grandparents are welcome. The group combines teaching/training in Family Systems disorder and recovery based on Dr. Perlmutter’s model of Stress-Induced Impaired Coping. {EMBED LINK} Experiential methods including psychodrama, role-playing and communication practice offer depth and personal experience to enhance members’ understanding. Most significant has been the regular conversation among parent participants, offering the opportunity to:

  • Relate and learn from other mothers, fathers, grandparents and step-parents
  • Share current events and experiences as they are unfolding
  • Obtain peer and professional support to navigate various challenging situations with children
  • Compare notes about how the children of concern are moving through various developmental stages
  • Be seen and heard by others who “get” what it’s like to face similar challenges and events

Common situations facing group members’ offspring:

  • Worsening substance abuse or addiction in a child (the “kids” can be 12 to 50 years old)
  • Placement and transport of a child to residential or wilderness treatment
  • Discharge or transfer of a child from residential or wilderness treatment
  • Return home of a problematic child (discharge from treatment, college failure, other losses)
  • behavior at home (self-harm, suicide-related, promiscuity, isolation/withdrawal)
  • School or employment difficulties including expulsion or job loss
  • Young adult living at home doing nothing and appearing to be going nowhere

Typically, the group creates an environment that feels safe, welcoming and loving. Parents show each other it’s possible to move through extremely difficult situations with problematic offspring and maintain one’s dignity and sanity while simultaneously seeking deeper connection with all family members (including the ‘problem kids’). The power of peer support is overwhelming and cannot be duplicated elsewhere. If you’re within 50 miles of San Rafael, California and can join us two evenings a month, please consider doing so. Parents have travelled from Napa, San Jose, Sacramento, Dublin, Concord, Discovery Bay, Santa Rosa, and Vallejo to regularly attend.

Please visit the events section at for dates and registration options. Or phone 415-322-0939 or email us at